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Rene Descartes Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy - Essay Example

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Rene Descartes Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

He even questions whether at the time of his writing he is truly awake or is indeed in an unceasing dream.
In the dream doubt argument, Descartes fears that his present experiences could all turn out to be a huge dream and that in the end senses can be deceitful. He writes, ‘How often, asleep at night, am I convinced of such familiar events – that I am here in my dressing-gown, sitting by the fire – when in fact I am lying undressed in bed... I see that there are never any sure signs by means of which being awake can be distinguished from being asleep’ (Descartes, 1). He thus renders the verdict that the truest source of knowledge of science and life comes not from senses (which are deceitful) but from the mind. He hence holds that the data obtained from senses are not always true and that the only way to obtain reliable knowledge is through strict adherence to reason in all problems/ questions encountered in life (and science). Using dreams as evidence of the flaws in trusting one’s senses, Rene postulates that at the very least, our senses must be tested and thoroughly examined to ascertain the truth in them. He argues that the possibility of tricking the senses into accepting a false dream world as real denotes that the simulated realities is a common phenomenon and one that mankind should watch out for. In this argument, one could be dreaming at a time of a discovery/ new insight/ belief or the whole of life could be a dream (inexistent).
After arguing out the dream doubt, Rene wanders on to the evil genius doubt. Descartes hypothesizes that (since God is infinitely good and incapable of deceit) there is a malicious being (demon), wielding immense power and who is very cunning/ clever, that has gone on in all the aggression it is capable of to seamlessly deceive him (Descartes, 1). He therefore regards the earth and all in it as mere deceptions of an evil demon in order to alter his perception and reason of things. In ...Show more

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The components of the hyperbolic doubt are the dream doubt and the evil genius doubt (which is commonly alternatively called the evil demon doubt)…
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Rene Descartes Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy essay example
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